THE DATING GAME

Natalie Standiford, Author
Natalie Standiford, Author . Little, Brown $9.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-316-11040-2
Reviewed on: 02/14/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Paperback - 978-0-316-01710-7
Paperback - 978-0-316-01711-4
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-0-316-05003-6
Open Ebook - 104 pages - 978-0-316-14809-2
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This debut book in the Dating Game series gets its title from an online site that a trio of best friends design for a 10th-grade project, trying to prove that "boys think about sex more than girls." As they prepare quizzes and play matchmaker for themselves and their peers, each of the three struggles with her own romantic dilemma. Madison wants more sexual experience, poetic Lina is in love with her teacher, and curvy Holly has a wild reputation. Even though the girls eventually admit "our scientific technique is not exactly airtight here," it's hard to understand how some of the materials relate to their project. Yet the girls' struggles come across as authentic, and the writing can be both funny and honest (especially Holly's painful experience with "the double standard, how it was good for boys to have a wild rep and bad for girls"). Silly quizzes and online chats pepper the narrative, and each chapter begins with a telling horoscope for one of the protagonists. Readers will not be too surprised by the girls' findings, but they may be disappointed that not all of the plot points resolve (perhaps Breaking Up Is Really, Really Hard to Do , due out in June, will supply the answers); the still-open story line about Lina's growing obsession with her young teacher is especially disturbing. Overall, readers will probably find enough to laugh about and relate to as the trio plans—and plays—The Dating Game. Ages 14-up. (Feb.)

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